Exeter or York for History

(46 Posts)
aibutohavethisusername Fri 21-Feb-20 17:46:30

DD is trying to decide between York (History) & Exeter (Ancient History & History). This will most probably be for her insurance as she is loving UCL at the moment.
Any thoughts on either of these? She has offers from both.

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aibutohavethisusername Fri 21-Feb-20 22:46:11


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aibutohavethisusername Fri 21-Feb-20 22:46:25

Err I mean bump obviously

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BackforGood Fri 21-Feb-20 22:49:18

Has she been to visit them ?

Where in the country are you ? (I ,mean, you don't have to say here, but just thinking that might make a difference, say if you live in Cornwall or you live in Northumberland).

aibutohavethisusername Fri 21-Feb-20 23:20:54

She has visited York; we are going to Exeter next month. Live in Berkshire.

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Piggywaspushed Sat 22-Feb-20 07:01:38

They are both excellent institutions in wonderful cities and parts of the country. I don't know much about Exeter but York has a longstanding excellent reputation for history.

The degrees are slightly different : how much does the Ancient history bit appeal because if that's a draw , then Exeter is the choice, I would have thought?

My impression is that Exeter is slightly more far flung than people often think but that may not be the case from the Home Counties. certainly for us, north of London, I was surprised by how long the drive was.

okiedokieme Sat 22-Feb-20 07:14:30

They are about the same distance if you are Home Counties, both are good universities so look at the course, that's what matters, they will have different specialists


ArriettyJones Sat 22-Feb-20 07:17:25

As above, I’d really concentrate on the course content. Both great universities and really good History departments.

BubblesBuddy Sat 22-Feb-20 07:52:35

One of DDs friends did the Ancient History course at Exeter - for a year. She couldn’t get up to speed with Latin. She swapped to another course. So if your DD is ok at Latin, or is happy to learn it, then Ancient History is a good fit at Exeter, but if Latin, and possibly Greek, is not her thing and she’s not studied either before, or done well with a Latin based MFL, I would say tick History at York!

aibutohavethisusername Sat 22-Feb-20 08:16:58

Exeter is about 50 miles closer, I think but both are pretty far away.
I think the flexibility of the Ancient & History modules appeal at the moment.
DD is quite excited to learn a language but I could see it would be a challenge.

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Piggywaspushed Sat 22-Feb-20 08:37:22

Not the same language , but I learnt Anglo Saxon at uni and really loved it. So she may well love that opportunity. But it could indeed be a slog, on top of everything else. York does have a medieval specialism if that appeals ?

What is it about the UCL course she likes so much? Does she see any of that replicated at either York or Exeter? I am assuming she is very able if these tow are her insurances. She is lucky to be stuck between such fabulous choices!

LIZS Sat 22-Feb-20 08:49:59

Both very different to ucl.

BubblesBuddy Sat 22-Feb-20 08:54:50

I would base the “challenge” on proven ability so far. Be honest about if this is her thing or not because it adds pressure if it’s a challenge too far. If she’s performed very well at GCSE or is doing an A level in an MFL, then it could well be fine. However be realistic as well as enthusiastic. I’m assuming UCL isn’t Ancient History?

Ihatesundays Sat 22-Feb-20 08:55:20

Does she need to get there and back independently, how easy is the travel. Just York is on the east coast mainline.

BubblesBuddy Sat 22-Feb-20 08:56:37

Lots of DC like London and UCL but put Exeter or York or similar as insurance.

Moominmammacat Sat 22-Feb-20 10:04:41

I have had DSs at both these unis ... York hands down every time. Don't know the stats but York has always had a good reputation for history and I've never heard of anyone choosing Exeter for it. York is a happy place, very supportive teaching. Exeter is full of posing "basics" as they call them. Great generalisations here but that's how I found it. And look at the comparative hall fees if you want to save money ...

Piggywaspushed Sat 22-Feb-20 10:26:31

What/who are 'basics' ??

Xenia Sat 22-Feb-20 11:12:41

That's a new one on me too - basics and I thought I was fairly up on student jargon! My older son was going to read ancient history at Exeter until he didn't get teh grades and went to Reading instead. It is a good course. I didn't think you had to do latin but I might be wrong. He certainly did some at school but didn't do GCSE in it.

Fifthtimelucky Sat 22-Feb-20 11:38:25

In general, don't think you can go wrong with either university (I have a daughter at Exeter and a niece at York, both of whom are very happy).

I don't know enough about the history courses at either, but my daughter has a friend who is doing it at Exeter. Admittedly it wasn't their first choice (didn't get into Durham) but it was their second.

Am now wondering whether my daughter is a basic'!

Singingatmidnight Sat 22-Feb-20 11:43:36

For straight Ancient History at Exeter, you need to do at least one year of Latin (or Greek). For History + Ancient History, you don't. She can give the Latin a go and change modules if she doesn't get on with it - she's right that it's a very flexible course.

A lot of H + AH people end up moving towards AH because they enjoy those modules.

I've also known many people who love History at York. Both great choices.

Evilcat Sat 22-Feb-20 11:51:34

DD did History at York - she graduated 2 years ago. She loved York and the course - although she did find the library space limited. FWIW, all her close friends have great jobs on graduate schemes - off the top of my head - working for BBC, Systems Analyst, PR, Accountancy . According to DD, straight History is better regarded than a combined course. Also, is the Exeter course actually at Exeter or at the Falmouth campus - that makes a difference.

Mydogatemypurse Sat 22-Feb-20 12:07:01

I'm sure the courses are excellent at both.
In terms of the experience I would chose York. I'm basing this purely on my friends experience of Exeter. She is middle class and from a nice area of Cambridge yet experienced a lot of snootiness and comments in relation to her 'status' and qustions about her parents job/income which she felt judged by.
She couldnt wait to finish and move somewhere else.
Obviously this is only one persons experience and a very limited viewpoint. It's very pretty there and lots of opportunities to explore a beautiful part of the country. But do consider transport to and from home.
York is probably easier to travel to.
I think you get a feeling for where you want to be when you visit them. Good luck. X

KindKylie Sat 22-Feb-20 12:14:03

I think Exeter would be the easier to get to from Berkshire. At certain times of day you can get a train from Reading where the first stop is Exeter - it's v quick and easy!

Exeter used to have that reputation for being a bit snooty but I think it's outdated now. They have a huge Widening Participation programme and the student body seems v diverse these days.

As others say, I would base decisions on the course and go from there. Both are wonderful cities close to lots of lovely touristy spots so you'd have a lot to do at either.

I can't see that UCL would be remotely similar though so maybe discuss that!

aibutohavethisusername Sat 22-Feb-20 17:09:49

Thanks for all the comments. A lot to think about.

I wasn’t going to write this but I was actually offered a place myself at Exeter as a teen and didn’t take it because I didn’t feel I was a fit with the pin stripe suit brigade.

DD has done taster sessions at UCL and I think that has been what has swayed her.

There is no proven ability in a language as she has not done one at GCSE or A-level..

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BackforGood Sat 22-Feb-20 21:31:53

Exeter is full of posing "basics" as they call them.

Can someone translate this for me please ?

I quite liked Exeter when we looked. It did strike me as not being very diverse, but then we live in a fully multicultural city, so it is all relative.

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